This is it. After six issues and several tie-in comic books we are finally at the end of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s epic Dark Nights: Death Metal event. With Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 coming out to begin 2021 this could very well set the tone for what the new year will be for DC Comics. There are already a lot that has been announced from Future State to Infinite Frontier. What else will we learn about the future of the DC Universe from the end of Snyder and Capullo’s event? Let’s find out with Dark Nights: Death Metal #7.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Greg Capullo, Yanick Paquette, and Bryan Hitch
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: FCO Plascencia, Nathan Fairbairn, and Alex Sinclair
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In the aftermath of Superboy-Prime taking down the Dark Multiverse (see Dark Nights: Death Metal The Secret Origins for that story) Wonder Woman, with her golden power-up from the World Forge, and Batman Who Laughs face off for their final battle. Meanwhile the rest of Earth-Prime’s heroes and villains fight Batman Who Laughs army with the Batman Family fighting Robin King and his demon army and the Superman Family battle The Last Sun (a Dark Multiverse Superman who never reached Earth and instead became corrupted by absorbing the power of a million Suns).
In the middle of their fight Batman Who Laughs depowers Cyborg, Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy and then grabs them to through them into space. Even though she knows it is a trap Wonder Woman saves the Titans. As she does so Batman Who Laughs punches her so hard he sends Wonder Woman through different time periods. Wonder Woman and Batman Who Laugh end up 160 million years in the past when dinosaurs still walked the Earth.
Back on Earth-Prime, in the middle of all the fighting Barry Allen’s Flash is unable to stop Wally West from using the Mobius Chair.
Robin King is then shown taunting Batman to give up but Batman says his family can fight all day.
The Superman Family are also shown launching an all out assault on The Last Sun. There combined powers just cause The Last Sun powers to get even more out of control.
Meanwhile, Batman Who Laughs brings Wonder Woman to the Beginning Of It All dimension where she sees one of “The Hands.” Batman Who Laughs reveals that Perpetua’s species were “The Hands” who are now coming to erase this universe unless he kills them first. Wonder Woman says “The Hands” are coming because of how Batman Who Laughs has used the Crisis Energy. She goes on to say that now that she has reconnected all of their history all that is left is to kill him.
Batman Who Laughs taunts Wonder Woman that The Hands will do what they always do and restart the universe even with all she did. While she tries to deny it internally Wonder Woman knows there is truth to what Batman Who Laughs is saying.
Back on Earth-Prime all the heroes and villains continue to fight the Dark Multiverse forces. In the middle of all that we see that Flash is able to distract Wally West long enough for Captain Cold and Golden Glider to remove Wally from the Mobius Chair.
As the fighting intensifies Robin King’s demons kill most of the Batman Family with only Batman, Nightwing, and Robin (Damian Wayne) left. Robin King’s forces quickly surround the three.
At the same the The Last Sun has defeated most of the Superman Family. Being one of the last ones standing Superman charges at The Last Sun and flyes him into the far reaches of space.
Back at the Beginning Of It All dimension Batman Who Laughs tells Wonder Woman she has two choices: 1) Continue to fight him and allow The Hands to get strong enough to erase the universe or; 2) Surrender and let him kill The Hands and he will grant Wonder Woman and her friends the world they want. Wonder Woman quickly denies any of Batman Who Laughs offers and kicks one of the energy hands in the middle of them into him.
Back on Earth-Prime the fighting has left Batman as the only one to stand against Robin King. As Robin King taunts him Batman uses his Black Lantern ring to bring back the entire Batman Family, including Alfred Pennyworth, and the fallen demons from Robin King’s forces to fight the villainous Bruce Wayne.
At the same time Superman uses the last of his powers against The Last Sun. Suddenly Lex Luthor appears and reveals that his power suit is powered by a captured black hole. Lex then uses his power suit to create a Black Hole Event to suck himself, The Last Sun, and Superman into it.
Across time Wonder Woman is able to gain the advantage on Batman Who Laughs as she punches him through various timelines until they get to the end of time itself. When they get to the end of time Wonder Woman pushes Batman Who Laughs into the Death Sun.
As she does this Batman Who Laughs points out that The Hands are now watching them. Batman Who Laughs once again reminds her of his offer. While she does imagine what taking his offer would do Wonder Woman does not hesitate into driving all of Batman Who Laughs into the Death Sun. As she is also consumed by the Death Sun all Wonder Woman can do is close her eyes and hope she sees a better future.
Suddenly Wonder Woman finds herself in an unknown dimension by The Hands. The Hands tell Wonder Woman the truth about why they create the Multiverse. They say that their intentions with the Multiverse is to let those within it ascend from simple selfishness to seek the greater truths but they have failed to see that multiple times even with all the restarts they’ve given the Multiverse.
When Wonder Woman wonders if it is true that everything was undone The Hands say they’ll take a form more familiar to her. The Hands say they will take on a form that is an example that they admire as a celebration of heroism. The Hands then take on the form the original Wonder Woman (from her first appearance in Sensation Comics #1).
The Hands then admit that Wonder Woman and her fellow heroes fought for good even when they knew their universe would be erased. They go on to say that they admire that and caused The Hands to rethink their methods. The Hands then offer to restore the Multiverse with everyone remembering everything about their history. They go on to say that a reality like this has never been created before will cause both great threats and great possibilities unknown to any of them to happen.
The Hands say they’ll do this but it will come at a great cost. Wonder Woman says if her life is part of that cost she will gladly give it. The Hands then lead Wonder Woman further into the light as they explain how they need Wonder Woman Woman to help protect this new reality from lurking threats.
Some time later, as Wonder Woman imagines what is happening on her Earth, outside the Hall of Justice, Superman is shown meeting up with all of the heroes, villains, and people who took part in the final fight against Batman Who Laughs. With everyone on a high a massive party is thrown for everyone there, which includes a band made up of Superman, Black Canary, Batman, and Wally West playing music.
In the middle of the celebration Barry tells Wally he needs to talk to him after the party.
Later, Barry brings Wally to a space station on the dark side of the Moon called The Totality. Barry reveals that The Totality has been created to act as a shield that will protect the world from future threats with the greatest minds from both the Justice League and Legion of Doom running it.
Barry then brings Wally to the room where he presents him to the group running The Totality with its members being Lex Luthor, Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, Mr. Terrific, Talia Al Ghul, and Vandal Savage. Batman and Superman are shown to be their to oversee the opening of The Totality.
Wally asks why he is being shown this. Lex Luthor says it is because now “everything” is back in play Flash then shows Wally that Wonder Woman sacrificed herself so that the timeline would be unknotted and all of their memories would return once and for all.
Hawkgirl goes on to say that now they have seen that there are many futures opening up (which includes the continuity seen in Future State), creating new worlds in the process. She goes on to say that as Hypertime heals that they will all be experiencing flashes of their respective histories, including alternate futures and pasts. (With the graph Hawkgirl shows Wally looking similar to the one shown in Grant Morrison’s Multiversity series.) Hawkgirl says while they have been able to monitor all of this the one thing they can’t track down is Darkseid’s whereabouts.
Lex Luthor continues on to say that the “everything” he mentioned is that not only new Earths appearing but also entirely new Multiverses appearing. Lex says this is creating an Omniverse with what they are dubbing “Infinite Frontier.”
Mr. Terrific then brings up that they have also discovered that their Earth is no longer the only center of the Multiverse. Mr. Terrific and Martian Manhunter reveal that there is now an Elseworld, along with their Earth, as the cosmic center of the Multiverse.
On Earth-0, in 1943, Sgt. Rock is fighting on the front lines of the war when Hawkman appears. Sgt. Rock tells Hawkman to get ready to fight. Sgt. Rock then leads the JSA on a charge to the next battle.
As this happens Wonder Woman is shown narrating how everything they do and every story that is written will always matter. End of issue.
The Good: Now this is how you hit it out of the park with the final issue of a big event. Was Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 a perfect comic book? No, it is not. There are things about the way certain things went in this final issue that are questionable. But when taking it as a whole, Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 did so much right. And when all was said and done I could not help but have a smile on my face with the when seeing the final page of Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 with a feeling it was all worth it.
For as much fighting dominated the final showdown with Batman Who Laughs had I was glad when all was said and done it wasn’t just about who punched the hardest. What decided the end of Dark Nights: Death Metals was the connections between everyone involved. Whether it was heroes or villains, this story was about how everyone is connected in someway and they were fighting to maintain that connection. The ending in the void-like dimension Wonder Woman found herself in furthered that point how much all of this mattered in the end.
And really there was no way not to get heavily invested in what was going with how Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo divided all the fighting with the major Families of the DC Universe. Seeing both the Batman and Superman Families having major fights together was just pure hype. It added to how grand of a scale everything going on in Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 was. It made the moments like Batman bringing the Batman Family back with his Black Lantern ring to finish off Robin King an even more memorable part of the way things ended.
Cutting into the fight through time that Wonder Woman and Batman Who Laughs had with everyone fighting the Dark Multiverse army was timed perfectly. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo made sure that the cuts between scenes emphasized the importance of everything we were seeing going on. It all elevated how important it was for Wonder Woman to continue fighting Batman Who Laughs no matter how tempting his offer was. It showed the strength of character that Wonder Woman has that she does see maintains the hope that things will turn out well.
Wonder Woman being positioned that way made Batman Who Laughs an even bigger villain. Snyder does such a good job presenting Batman Who Laughs offer as incredibly enticing. We even see Wonder Woman have that brief moment where she is considering what Batman Who Laughs offer would mean. Its that temptation that Batman Who Laughs that lets you know that he understands that if he can’t get Wonder Woman to side with him everything he has done thus far is over. That further shows how the way things end isn’t about one character punching harder. It was about our hero, Wonder Woman, having a stronger will and hope for the future than the villain, Batman Who Laughs, who just wanted ultimate control and power.
Seeing how all of this played out made the moment when Snyder went full meta with how he decided to end the conflict in Dark Nights: Death Metal much more rewarding. Going with a direction that has the final characters of this story being fully aware of all the resets DC Comics has had over its lifetime was dangerous. It could’ve easily gone wrong. But to Snyder’s immense credit he used everything we saw take place in Dark Nights: Death Metal to explain why this is what needed to happen. This event needed to conclude with giving fans a feeling that we are done with all the reboots and resets to the DC Universe. Moving forward everything that happens in a comic book from DC Comics will matter in its own way because the company has Multiverse to open up their universe to have an infinite amount of possible stories to be told.
The way Wonder Woman factors into all of this was interesting. Since everything matters now everyone knows that Wonder Woman sacrificed to make this Multiverse where everything happened and mattered be the new status quo. With that we saw her sacrifice be more about setting off on a mysterious mission with The Hands. This sets up an interesting hook for the upcoming Immortal Wonder Woman mini-series. While that series is labeled as taking place in the Future State continuity there now seems to be more about whatever journey Wonder Woman sets out on at the end of time. It would not be surprising if that adventure we see in Immortal Wonder Woman is what The Hands tease about bringing her along for.
With everything now having happened and mattering it was great to see how key players in the main DC Universe are taking this seriously. Having the knowledge of all the Crisis-level events they’ve been through it is only logical that they would now actively set-up a response to something like that happening again. Setting that up with a mix of Justice League and Legion of Doom members leading this response, which they call the Totality, was an unexpected twist.
While it is weird to see heroes and villains working together in this type of organization by the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 it all makes sense who is a member. Lex Luthor, Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, Mr. Terrific, Talia Al Ghul, and Vandal Savage are now positioned as outliers in terms of what we picture as heroes and villains in the DC Universe. Even if those are roles they will serve in future stories, when it comes to Crisis-level stories we can now expect a mix of these characters to act as the leaders for how those events are responded to.
Through this Snyder does a great job in establishing how each character running The Totality fits in. He does that through the way they all explain a part of how the new infinite Multiverse works. Each character brings in new information that shows that they are all prepared for the role they now have in the grander scheme of things. This was the best approach to take because you never question why a certain person was chosen over Batman or Superman to be in this group.
With the establishment of this new infinite Multiverse it was interesting to see it now made clear that Earth-1 will no longer be the sole center of everything. While Earth-1 will be where the most DC Universe stories will be told through we now have Earth-0, the home of the JSA, as also being at the center of the Multiverse. As a DC fan this was one of those things when you realize that Snyder is bringing back elements from the pre-Crisis On Infinite Earth back into play with the JLA and JSA’s Earths being the center of the DC Multiverse a moment you just can’t help but have a smile on your face.
The artwork from beginning to end was fantastic in Dark Nights: Death Metal #7. Greg Capullo did a wonderful job making how the end of the main story of Dark Nights: Death Metal had an epic scale. Even the smaller character focused moments came across as a major deal because of how Capullo drew it with the inking of Jonathan Glapion and coloring of FCO Plascencia. I particularly enjoyed how Capullo brough the battle through time that Wonder Woman and Batman Who Laughs had. The way he chose to present that visually worked extremely well.
Yanick Paquette and Bryan Hitch did an equally wonderful job with their work on the two epilogues stories in Dark Nights: Death Metal #7. Paquette got over how everyone was so happy that they overcame the odds and how well deserved the celebration was. It was just a pure fun scene with nothing feeling out of place, that includes Batman playing guitar and Superman being the lead singer for the headlining band. At the same time, Paquette was able to bring the explanation for the new state of the Multiverse that Snyder had to life and presented it in a way that makes you understand that things like Future State do happen in continuity, it’ll just likely exist in its own Elseworld as part of the Multiverse.
Hitch also does a good job in giving Earth-0 its own style while still feeling like we are visiting a classic version of the DC Universe. He got over how hype of a moment it was to see the Justice Society of America officially fully back in the DC Universe on their own Earth. That final page is definitely something I hope DC puts out as a poster asap.
The Bad: While Snyder and Capullo do their best to fit in as much as possible in Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 there was simply not enough time to give everyone proper big moments in this final issue. You really felt how much you need to read the tie-in issues so that characters like Aquaman, Green Lantern, and the Titans get their moment. This issue was very much focused on the battles the Batman Family, Superman Family, and Wonder Woman had going on. To get those moments for other characters tie-ins like The Secret Origin, The Last 52: War of the Multiverses, and The Last Stories Of The DC Universe are required readings.
When all was said and done Wally West also did not serve much of a role in this story other than be there for those final pages explaining the new Multiverse status quo. The whole sub-plot with him having control of Doctor Manhattan’s powers and the Mobius Chair never factored into the story in a meaningful way. It was just there to give the Flash Family something to do but didn’t factor into how things ended. Which is a shame because with the explanation of who The Hands were that felt like a moment Wally West should’ve appeared to turn the tide and help Wonder Woman make that final push against Batman Who Laughs. Unfortunately that did not happen as Wally was treated more as an antagonist that the Flash Family and The Rogues had to overcome during the final battle.
Overall: Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 is an epic ending to one of the most memorable events in DC Comics history. Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and the entire team that worked on this issue knocked it out of the park. When it was all was said and done I found myself with a giant smile on my face. This has created even greater excitement for the future of DC Comics in 2021 and beyond. If you are a DC Comics fan I definitely recommend checking out Dark Nights: Death Metal when the full trade collection comes out.
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